Dark Horses from Off the Bench

Rumors are running wild now that Judge Clement has confirmed she’s out. Most speculation is focusing on judges, but who says the nominee needs judicial experience. Harvard’s Mary Ann Glendon is a possibility, but I doubt it’s her. For a White House that likes surprises, and wants a conservative candidate the Dems can’t tough, there are other options. One intriguing possibility: Maureen Mahoney. Her legal credentials are impeccable and beyond reproach. A former clerk to Chief Justice Rehnquist, she has a sterling conservative reputation, having served in the Bush 41 SG’s office. She was named to a district court in 1991, but the non-obstructionist Democratic Senate never moved on her nomination. There is a wrinkle: She represented the University of Michigan Law School in the affirmative action cases, and made comments suggesting she believed in the law school’s case. But this might not be disqualifying in this administration, as her position was not that far from that of Bush’s own legal team. Picking Mahoney would also suggest Bush is picking a nominee “just like O’Connor.”

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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